Greetings, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has shared many revelations of spiritual truth with me, and I want to share them with you. This morning we seek to understand the nature of the soul.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
"Then saith he unto them, my soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here and watch with me." Matthew, Chapter 26, Verse 38
Brothers and sisters, in today’’s discussion, we shall define the soul, use a material analogy to help us grasp the concept of the soul, describe its function, its growth, its manifestation, and its destiny.
The soul is the spiritual re-creation of each human being. The soul makes its abode during one’’s lifetime within the human mind. It comes into existence when the material mind makes its first moral choice, which signals the arrival of the Father of this same soul. Contact between the morally self-consciousness self and the divine spirit gives rise to a phenomenon that is neither spiritual nor material but which has capacity to reach spirit levels.
As the self makes moral decisions, the divine spirit is able to infiltrate the soul increasingly, which fosters soul growth toward higher and higher spiritual levels. Normally the soul remains in an embryonic state, but since the bestowal of Jesus, the soul is able to growth until it becomes born again in the material mind. This born-again phenomenon allows the soul to recognize truth, beauty, and goodness and to recognize the divine spirit, to effect a spirit response to the leading of the divine spirit. The soul does not function on material levels but does on supermaterial levels. It thus deals with divine values and meanings, the meanings of truth, beauty, goodness, and divine love.
Recreation of Self
Since mortal man is flesh and blood, and cannot see God, when God proposed to his Son to make mortal man in their image, it involved transforming him from a material being to a spiritual being. This required the dispatch of the divine spirit to recreate man in the Father’’s image. And this divine spirit dwells within our souls and minds as it is engaged in the gigantic task of recreating us from flesh and blood to spirit.
Everything in our mental life, all the values, memory, and experience that has spiritual value is duplicated by the divine spirit in the soul. Nothing of spiritual value is ever lost in our experience for the divine spirit preserves them. Every moral decision that we make is the fabric by which the divine spirit recreates us. This creation faithfully portrays the harvest of our decisions. It is this recreated self that is a son or daughter of God. Since God is the Father of this new creation, this creation can discern the Father’’s revelations of truth, beauty, goodness, and their united function--divine love.
Now to help us grasp a better sense of this new self, let us use a material analogy to compare material self with the more spiritual self. Our material self is self-evident. We are materially conscious in our mind. And this consciousness in our mind allows us to interact with material reality. We relate to other material beings, manipulate, and change our environment. We enjoy material relationships. We think and plan. We set material goals and pursue the functions of self-maintenance, self-perpetuation, and self-gratification. We experience emotions, sometimes emotions of happiness, sometimes emotions of sorrow, and other emotions that are evoked as a result of our experiences. We experience the meanings of material values in our minds.
As our material minds are conscious of material reality, our souls are conscious of spiritual reality. It experiences love, enjoys fellowship with other spiritual brothers and sisters, and enjoys fellowship with the heavenly Father. We experience spiritual emotions of joy, sorrow, set spiritual goals. We also experience the meanings of spiritual values in our minds. Both material meanings and spiritual meanings are experienced in our minds. Whereas the material values are experienced in our mind, the spiritual values are experienced in our souls.
Functions of the Soul
The soul is the vehicle that allows us to survive material death. It is a spiritual duplication of ourselves. In conjunction with the divine spirit, it contains our personality, our values, and all of our worthwhile memories. It is an experiential entity, and responds to the command of the heavenly Father to be perfect even as he is perfect. This soul while in the flesh increasingly represents the Father through his Son, Jesus as the self submits to the Father’’s will. The soul is that part of us that recognizes truth, beauty, goodness and divine love, and other spiritual qualities. It only functions on supermaterial levels, not the material level, but it has the power to reinforce the supermaterial decisions that we make while living in the flesh.
Growth of the Soul
The soul is a growing value. After its conception in the material mind, it begins the continuous process of growth. Each time a moral decision is made, the soul grows more and more, identifying more and more with the divine spirit and less with the material self. Every time a moral decision is made, the divine spirit invades the soul further by spiritualizing it just a little bit more. Our spiritual helpers increase this process of moral choosing by providing every increasing moral and spiritual stimuli, the response to which causes increased growth.
Manifestation of the Soul
The soul being a living entity requires nourishment and nurture just like the material self does, but the soul requires spiritual nourishment and spiritual nurture. Just as there are certain urges in the material self that signals the need for food and water, the soul when hungry also signals the need for spiritual food and spiritual water: we hunger for truth and thirst for righteousness. This signals to the self to seek for this satisfaction by communion with the heavenly Father and once these spiritual urges are satisfied, and communion is maintained with the heavenly Father, there begins to flow the beautiful character fruits of the spirit, which are faith, goodness, love, gentleness, temperance, meekness, long suffering, peace, and joy.
Destiny of the Soul
The soul having been born in such humble beginnings is destined to stand in the actual presence of the heavenly Father, as the child of God who obeyed the command to be perfect even as the Father is perfect. Although it requires considerable time to complete this process and many soul transformations, it will no doubt one day reach its supernal destiny as a perfected son of the heavenly Father.
This concludes today's message on understanding the nature of the soul. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is Dr. James Perry.